Oh, you thought the New York Giants were done? A day after landing Adoree Jackson, the team has struck again — albeit to a lesser degree — agreeing to terms with a fellow 2017 draft classmate of Jackson’s.
NJ.com’s Art Stapleton has reported that the team has agreed to terms with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson. A former second-round pick, the 26-year-old has spent the entirety of his four NFL seasons in Washington. Anderson receives a one-year deal worth $1.127 million, with a $137,500 signing bonus and a base salary of $990K, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicles.
The move reunites Anderson with his former college teammate Reggie Ragland, who the team signed last week. The linebacker duo spent three seasons as teammates in Tuscaloosa, helping lead Alabama to a National Championship victory over Clemson back in 2015.
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Anderson Flashed During His WFT Career
In 2020, Anderson was limited to nine games, making just nine total tackles. However, he is just one season removed from the most prolific year of his NFL career. In 2019, Anderson appeared in all 16 games (four starts), setting career-highs in every major statistical category, including sacks (4.0), tackles (43), tackles for loss (four) and quarterback hits (nine). He also proved to have a knack for forcing turnovers. His five forced fumbles that season tied for fourth-most amongst all NFL defenders.
Over his four-year tenure in D.C., Anderson appeared in 52 games (four starts), amassing 86 tackles, six sacks, 15 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 255-pounder did earn a tremendous 86.8 overall Pro Football Focus grade in 2018, albeit with a limited sample size. Anderson played just 16% of Washington’s defensive snaps that season. In fact, aside from his 559 defensive snaps in 2019, he never logged more than 18% of WFT’s defensive snaps. In his three other seasons in the league, Anderson has never received a PFF mark over 58.9.
Will Anderson Carve Out a Role on the Giants’ Defense?
In Anderson’s defense, the presence of players such as Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat and Chase Young on Washington’s front-seven didn’t exactly give Anderson a clear path to playing time. His chance of carving out a sizeable role in Patrick Graham’s multiple-front defense is far more likely.
The team did recently sign a solid contributor in former Vikings pass-rusher Ifeadi Odenigbo. As for the other edge defenders on the roster, Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines’ modest production continues to be overshadowed by upside. There are also youngsters Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown who flashed late in 2020 — although in Brown’s case, the recent signings at outside backer could potentially shift him inside to compete with Tae Crowder.
If Anderson can prove to be a constant disruptor off the edge, it’s not out of the question that he sets new career-highs in usage this season. In the meantime, expect him to make his presence felt on special teams, where he’s logged 649 snaps over the past four seasons.
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